Undergraduate Course

BA History and Law

BA History and Law

Overview

The details
History and Law
VM10
October 2024
Full-time
3 years
Colchester Campus

The foundations of our modern judicial system were laid long ago. What is case law but a practical and binding application of historical precedent? This innovative degree covers a range of historical periods and current practice in diverse areas of the law, to develop your unique insight into how pivotal moments in our history have long-standing legal implications.

This course gives you a thorough training in the complementary disciplines of history and law. You develop critical, reflective and analytical skills that are common to both disciplines. In addition to emphasising aspects common to both subjects, you explore the differences between them, and the approaches taken within legal and historical thought. Your studies will combine a structured introduction to both subjects as well as a range of options which will allow you to pursue your own areas of interest.

We cover a diverse range of topics, including:

  • the history of pandemics
  • the development of human rights
  • history through oral testimony
  • criminal and contract law
  • British history to the present
  • Why we're great.
    • Our History team specialises in public history and we have links with numerous local archives.
    • Our Law lecturers work with the UN, the UK government, and with EU and foreign governments.
    • Employability is built into our degrees. The History Works: Career Portfolio module focuses your mind on finding employment after graduation, whether your path lies within the legal profession, heritage industries - or whether you'll take your skills into an entirely different area.

    Study abroad

    Your education extends beyond our University campus. We support you extending your education by offering you an additional year at no extra cost. The four-year version of our degree allows you to spend your third year studying abroad, while otherwise remaining identical to the three-year course. Studying abroad allows you to experience other cultures and languages, to broaden your degree socially and academically, and to demonstrate to employers that you are mature, adaptable, and organised. We have exchange partners across Europe, in the United States, Canada and Australia.

    Placement year

    Alternatively, on a placement year you gain relevant work experience within an external business or organisation, giving you a competitive edge in the graduate job market and providing you with key contacts within the industry. Placement years give you valuable work experience and a chance to develop your legal and professional skills. You can tailor your placement to your interests and could work for a museum, a law firm, a company's in-house legal department, the public sector, a charity or NGO, or elsewhere.

    Our expert staff

    The Department of History and Essex Law School and have internationally diverse communities of staff and students, which gives us a breadth of cross-cultural perspectives and insights into law, justice and history around the world. This community, combined with opportunities to study abroad during your time with us, ensures you graduate with a genuine worldview and a network of international contacts.

    Your future

    At Essex we don't just prepare you to become an outstanding legal or history professional. We stimulate your desire to pursue justice and equip you with the skills and knowledge to become an agent for change, whatever career path you choose. From the start of your course, we challenge you to think deeply, broadly and strategically about career paths. Over the first two years, alongside law subjects, you will take a career management module designed to help you identify personal strengths and goals, understand what employers are looking for and enhance your employability profile. We also hold an annual law fair, attended by law firms and vocational qualification providers. Our graduates pursue careers in the law and in a wide range of other sectors including business and commerce, accountancy, insurance, banking, central and local government, academia, teaching, social work and the police force.

    Entry requirements

    UK entry requirements

    • A-levels: BBB - BBC or 120 - 112 UCAS tariff points from a minimum of 2 full A-levels.
    • BTEC: DDM - DMM or 120 - 112 UCAS tariff points from a minimum of the equivalent of 2 full A-levels. The acceptability of BTECs is dependent on subject studied and optional units taken - email ugquery@essex.ac.uk for advice.
    • Combined qualifications on the UCAS tariff: 120 - 112 UCAS tariff points from a minimum of 2 full A levels or equivalent. Tariff point offers may be made if you are taking a qualification, or mixture of qualifications, from the list on our undergraduate application information page.
    • IB: 30 - 29 points or three Higher Level certificates with 555-554.
    • IB Career-related Programme: We consider combinations of IB Diploma Programme courses with BTECs or other qualifications. Advice on acceptability can be provided, email Undergraduate Admissions.
    • QAA-approved Access to HE Diploma: 6 level 3 credits at Distinction and 39 level 3 credits at Merit, depending on subject studied - advice on acceptability can be provided, email Undergraduate Admissions
    • T-levels: We consider T-levels on a case-by-case basis, depending on subject studied. The offer for most courses is Distinction overall. Depending on the course applied for there may be additional requirements, which may include a specific grade in the Core.

    Contextual Offers:

    We are committed to ensuring that all students with the merit and potential to benefit from an Essex education are supported to do so. For October 2024 entry, if you are a home fee paying student residing in the UK you may be eligible for a Contextual Offer of up to two A-level grades, or equivalent, below our standard conditional offer.
    Factors we consider:

    • Applicants from underrepresented groups
    • Applicants progressing from University of Essex Schools Membership schools/colleges
    • Applicants who attend a compulsory admissions interview
    • Applicants who attend an Offer Holder Day at our Colchester or Southend campus

    Our contextual offers policy outlines additional circumstances and eligibility criteria.

    For further information about what a contextual offer may look like for your specific qualification profile, email ugquery@essex.ac.uk.

    If you haven't got the grades you hoped for, have a non-traditional academic background, are a mature student, or have any questions about eligibility for your course, more information can be found on our undergraduate application information page. or get in touch with our Undergraduate Admissions Team.

    International & EU entry requirements

    We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Get in touch with any questions you may have about the qualifications we accept. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.

    Sorry, the entry requirements for the country that you have selected are not available here. Please select your country page where you'll find this information.

    English language requirements

    English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 6.0 overall, or specified score in another equivalent test that we accept.

    Details of English language requirements, including component scores, and the tests we accept for applicants who require a Student visa (excluding Nationals of Majority English Speaking Countries) can be found here

    If we accept the English component of an international qualification it will be included in the academic levels listed above for the relevant countries.

    English language shelf-life

    Most English language qualifications have a validity period of 5 years. The validity period of Pearson Test of English, TOEFL and CBSE or CISCE English is 2 years.

    If you require a Student visa to study in the UK please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.

    Pre-sessional English courses

    If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.

    Pending English language qualifications

    You don’t need to achieve the required level before making your application, but it will be one of the conditions of your offer.

    If you cannot find the qualification that you have achieved or are pending, then please email ugquery@essex.ac.uk .

    Requirements for second and final year entry

    Different requirements apply for second and final year entry, and specified component grades are also required for applicants who require a visa to study in the UK. Details of English language requirements, including UK Visas and Immigration minimum component scores, and the tests we accept for applicants who require a Student visa (excluding Nationals of Majority English Speaking Countries) can be found here

    Additional Notes

    If you’re an international student, but do not meet the English language or academic requirements for direct admission to this degree, you could prepare and gain entry through a pathway course. Find out more about opportunities available to you at the University of Essex International College

    Structure

    Course structure

    Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field. The following modules are based on the current course structure and may change in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.

    We understand that deciding where and what to study is a very important decision for you. We’ll make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities as described on our website. However, if we need to make material changes, for example due to significant disruption, or in response to COVID-19, we’ll let our applicants and students know as soon as possible.

    Components and modules explained

    Components

    Components are the blocks of study that make up your course. A component may have a set module which you must study, or a number of modules from which you can choose.

    Each component has a status and carries a certain number of credits towards your qualification.

    Status What this means
    Core
    You must take the set module for this component and you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
    Core with Options
    You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component but you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
    Compulsory
    You must take the set module for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
    Compulsory with Options
    You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
    Optional
    You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.

    The modules that are available for you to choose for each component will depend on several factors, including which modules you have chosen for other components, which modules you have completed in previous years of your course, and which term the module is taught in.

    Modules

    Modules are the individual units of study for your course. Each module has its own set of learning outcomes and assessment criteria and also carries a certain number of credits.

    In most cases you will study one module per component, but in some cases you may need to study more than one module. For example, a 30-credit component may comprise of either one 30-credit module, or two 15-credit modules, depending on the options available.

    Modules may be taught at different times of the year and by a different department or school to the one your course is primarily based in. You can find this information from the module code. For example, the module code HR100-4-FY means:

    HR 100  4  FY

    The department or school the module will be taught by.

    In this example, the module would be taught by the Department of History.

    The module number. 

    The UK academic level of the module.

    A standard undergraduate course will comprise of level 4, 5 and 6 modules - increasing as you progress through the course.

    A standard postgraduate taught course will comprise of level 7 modules.

    A postgraduate research degree is a level 8 qualification.

    The term the module will be taught in.

    • AU: Autumn term
    • SP: Spring term
    • SU: Summer term
    • FY: Full year 
    • AP: Autumn and Spring terms
    • PS: Spring and Summer terms
    • AS: Autumn and Summer terms

    COMPONENT 01: COMPULSORY

    Rebellious Pasts: Challenging and Creating Histories
    (30 CREDITS)

    The past is never dead. It’s not even past’. In a world of conspiracy theories, toppling statues, and ‘culture wars’, the novelist William Faulkner’s most famous line resonates more than ever. Across the globe, History is co-opted to multiple causes and used to justify contradictory positions. Such uses of History often rely on myths, stereotypes, and misunderstandings. How can we separate political belief, personal opinion, and false information about the past from historical knowledge and understanding? Rebellious Pasts looks at the creation, consolidation, and operation of historical myths and stereotypes – and at how we, as historians, can use the tools of our trade to identify and challenge misleading representations of the past, replacing them with richer forms of understanding. The module helps you to develop the critical mindset needed to analyse historical arguments wherever you find them, but also the constructive skills essential to researching and writing your own histories. It combines lectures and seminars exploring how history “works” in different contexts with archive visits and library workshops that expose you to the raw materials of History. On Rebellious Pasts, you will undertake self-directed research drawing upon digitized collections, archives, and heritage sector institutions, and translate your findings into accessible public history artefacts. At its heart, History is the refusal to accept easy assumptions and the insistence on negotiating with evidence, no matter how tricky that is. By the end of the module, you will understand why History is a rebellious discipline – and how to harness its unruly powers.

    View Rebellious Pasts: Challenging and Creating Histories on our Module Directory

    COMPONENT 02: COMPULSORY

    Criminal Law
    (30 CREDITS)

    How effective is criminal law? How do you break down a criminal law statute to its component parts? And how do you then interpret it? Understand criminal law in England and Wales. Read and critically analyse judicial decisions. Assess and answer factual problems, raising issues of criminal liability.

    View Criminal Law on our Module Directory

    COMPONENT 03: COMPULSORY

    Foundations of Public Law
    (30 CREDITS)

    This module introduces the fundamentals of the UK constitution and the foundations of judicial review. The module explores: the nature of the constitution; the structure of governmental power; the sources of constitutional rules; and the fundamental principles underpinning the UK constitution. The module considers the functions of the three branches of government (executive, legislative and judicial) and how they are accountable. The module examines the framework for protection of human rights in the UK and introduces the grounds of judicial review.

    View Foundations of Public Law on our Module Directory

    COMPONENT 04: OPTIONAL

    History option(s) from list
    (30 CREDITS)

    COMPONENT 05: COMPULSORY

    History Works: Career Portfolio
    (0 CREDITS)

    This module runs across three years of your degree and is designed to help you reflect upon, and develop, your plans and skills for your career in the long term. The module is compulsory for all History undergraduate students, but is designed not to be onerous, and to be as flexible as possible. You can use it to either prepare yourself for your dream career, or to explore the options open to you. You will meet former Essex History students to talk about the professions they decided to go into with their history degrees. While some of these professions are closely linked to the subject of history, others are not obviously so – but historians are nonetheless well-equipped for them. We hope that hearing from History graduates, finding out about the range of career options open to History students, and gaining insights into and confidence with recruitment and the labour market, will help students to feel confident about their life after History at Essex.

    View History Works: Career Portfolio on our Module Directory

    COMPONENT 01: COMPULSORY

    Contract Law
    (30 CREDITS)

    What are the legal consequences of contract failure? How do you calculate damages? Examine key aspects of contract law. Identify legal issues in simulated case studies and learn to construct legal arguments. Apply legal principles and precedent cases to resolve simulated legal problems. Build the numerical skills to calculate damages.

    View Contract Law on our Module Directory

    COMPONENT 02: COMPULSORY

    Exploring History: Research Workshop
    (30 CREDITS)

    History is never neutral. It is always a response to the questions historians choose to ask of the past. Historians decide what questions to ask for all kinds of reasons – out of interest, to aid understanding of specific aspects of the world around them, because certain types of evidence are available, or because the work of other historians has prompted them to think anew. These questions shape the evidence that historians look at, and therefore the kinds of answers they are likely to find. History is always a trialogue between the historian, the questions, and the evidence – and it is therefore a product of the present as well as the past. Exploring History focuses on the relationship between questions and evidence in forming historical knowledge. Consolidating and extending the skills and abilities introduced in the Year 1 module Rebellious Pasts, it charts the development of the historical discipline, examines specific examples of historical debate (or what is known as “historiography”), and introduces you to different types of historical evidence and ways of analysing this evidence. Through exploring historical debates you will gain new insight into how history is researched, written, and contested. Through in-depth examinations of different kinds of primary sources you will develop new skills in historical research. Finally, you will bring these abilities together to research and write an extended essay on a topic of your choice, developing and practising the skills you will employ in your final year History Research Project.

    View Exploring History: Research Workshop on our Module Directory

    COMPONENT 03: OPTIONAL

    Option(s) from list
    (30 CREDITS)

    COMPONENT 04: OPTIONAL

    Option(s) from list
    (30 CREDITS)

    COMPONENT 05: COMPULSORY

    History Works: Career Portfolio
    (0 CREDITS)

    This module runs across three years of your degree and is designed to help you reflect upon, and develop, your plans and skills for your career in the long term. The module is compulsory for all History undergraduate students, but is designed not to be onerous, and to be as flexible as possible. You can use it to either prepare yourself for your dream career, or to explore the options open to you. You will meet former Essex History students to talk about the professions they decided to go into with their history degrees. While some of these professions are closely linked to the subject of history, others are not obviously so – but historians are nonetheless well-equipped for them. We hope that hearing from History graduates, finding out about the range of career options open to History students, and gaining insights into and confidence with recruitment and the labour market, will help students to feel confident about their life after History at Essex.

    View History Works: Career Portfolio on our Module Directory

    COMPONENT 01: COMPULSORY

    Research Project
    (30 CREDITS)

    You’ve spent years studying History – now is the opportunity to off your skills as a historian. The History Research Project is the culmination of the degree scheme. Building on and extending the skills developed in the earlier parts of the degree, you will contribute to historical knowledge and understanding through conducting independent research on a topic of your choice. You also have the opportunity to choose how you want to present your research. You can choose to submit an 8,000-word dissertation or a 5,000-word research report plus a public history output such as a podcast, web resources, or film script that showcases historical research for a non-academic audience. Whichever route you choose, you will be supported by the expert guidance of an academic supervisor who will help you to identify and analyse primary sources, place these in the context of secondary sources, and understand your topic in relation to wider themes and debates.

    View Research Project on our Module Directory

    COMPONENT 02: OPTIONAL

    Final year History option(s) from list
    (30 CREDITS)

    COMPONENT 03: OPTIONAL

    Final year Law option(s) from list
    (30 CREDITS)

    COMPONENT 04: OPTIONAL

    Law or History option(s) from list
    (30 CREDITS)

    Placement

    On a placement year you gain relevant work experience within an external business or organisation, giving you a competitive edge in the graduate job market and providing you with key contacts within the industry. The rest of your course remains identical to the three-year degree.

    Year abroad

    On your year abroad, you have the opportunity to experience other cultures and languages, to broaden your degree socially and academically, and to demonstrate to employers that you are mature, adaptable, and organised. The rest of your course remains identical to the three-year degree.

    Teaching

  • Your teaching mainly takes the form of lectures and classes, the latter involving about 20 students
  • A typical timetable includes a one-hour lecture and a one-hour class for each of your four modules every week
  • Our classes are run in small groups, so you receive a lot of individual attention
  • Assessment

  • Your assessed coursework will generally consist of essays, reports, in-class tests, book reviews, individual or group oral presentations, and small scale research projects
  • Fees and funding

    Home/UK fee

    £9,250 per year

    International fee

    £19,500 per year

    Fees will increase for each academic year of study.

    Home/UK fees and funding information

    International fees and funding information

    What's next

    Open Days

    Our events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex. We run a number of Open Days throughout the year which enable you to discover what our campus has to offer. You have the chance to:

    • tour our campus and accommodation
    • find out answers to your questions about our courses, student finance, graduate employability, student support and more
    • meet our students and staff

    Check out our Visit Us pages to find out more information about booking onto one of our events. And if the dates aren’t suitable for you, feel free to book a campus tour here.

    2024 Open Days (Colchester Campus)

    • Wednesday, April 3, 2024

    Applying

    Applications for our full-time undergraduate courses should be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Full details on how to apply can be found on the filling in your UCAS undergraduate application web page.

    Our UK students, and some of our EU students, who are still at school or college, can apply through their school. Your school will be able to check and then submit your completed application to UCAS. Independent applicants in the UK or EU can also apply online through UCAS Apply.

    The UCAS code for our University of Essex is ESSEX E70. The individual campus codes for our Loughton and Southend Campuses are 'L' and 'S' respectively.

    You can find further information on how to apply, including information on transferring from another university, applying if you are not currently at a school or college, and applying for readmission on our How to apply and entry requirements page.

    Please note that this course is not open to international applicants

    Offer Holder Days

    If you receive an undergraduate offer to study with us in October 2024 and live in the UK, you will receive an email invitation to book onto one of our Offer Holder Days. Our Colchester Campus Offer Holder Days run from February to May 2024 on various Wednesdays and Saturdays, and our Southend Campus events run in April and May. These events provide the opportunity to meet your department, tour our campus and accommodation, and chat to current students. To support your attendance, we are offering a travel bursary, allowing you to claim up to £150 as reimbursement for travel expenses. For further information about Offer Holder Days, including terms and conditions and eligibility criteria for our travel bursary, please visit our webpage.

    If you are an overseas offer-holder, you will be invited to attend one of our virtual events. However, you are more than welcome to join us at one of our in-person Offer Holder Days if you are able to - we will let you know in your invite email how you can do this.

    A sunny day with banners flying on Colchester Campus Square 4.

    Visit Colchester Campus

    Set within 200 acres of award-winning parkland - Wivenhoe Park and located two miles from the historic city centre of Colchester – England's oldest recorded development. Our Colchester Campus is also easily reached from London and Stansted Airport in under one hour.


    View from Square 2 outside the Rab Butler Building looking towards Square 3

    Virtual tours

    If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tours allows you to explore our University from the comfort of your home. Check out our Colchester virtual tour and Southend virtual tour to see accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.

    At Essex we pride ourselves on being a welcoming and inclusive student community. We offer a wide range of support to individuals and groups of student members who may have specific requirements, interests or responsibilities.

    Find out more

    The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include, but are not limited to: strikes, other industrial action, staff illness, severe weather, fire, civil commotion, riot, invasion, terrorist attack or threat of terrorist attack (whether declared or not), natural disaster, restrictions imposed by government or public authorities, epidemic or pandemic disease, failure of public utilities or transport systems or the withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications. The University would inform and engage with you if your course was to be discontinued, and would provide you with options, where appropriate, in line with our Compensation and Refund Policy.

    The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.

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